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Egyptians claim foreign media helping Islamists

| Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, 7:54 p.m.

CAIRO —These days, Western media are considered enemies defending the Islamists.

Mustafa Hegazy, adviser to Egypt's interim president, said Egyptians are “very bitter” about the coverage.

Several journalists have been beaten and detained while covering clashes. A female McClatchy reporter who attempted to see the carnage inside the al-Fath mosque as the Islamists were cleared from the site was confronted by a police officer. Angry, he shouted at the men behind her: “Beat her! She is an American!”

The men happily obliged and manhandled the reporter. As she escaped, men surrounded her, recording her face.

On state media, a recent program showed a vehicle purported to be a foreigner's handing out weapons and money to Islamists. It turned out to be a CNN vehicle covering the news.

State security visited the CNN offices, and when told about the broadcast, told reporters, “We know. We had to juice it up a bit.”

To be sure, there is outrage among Egyptians, quiet pleas for decency drowned out by an angry, emotional populace.

As the gunfire intensified at the al-Fath mosque, a McClatchy reporter sought shelter among other pedestrians in the hallway of an apartment building overlooking the worship center. After almost an hour of heavy gunfire, three police snipers approached the building and asked the people to open the gate. As they entered, a woman in her 40s started yelling once she saw one of them pushing the elevator button and standing with their machine guns.

“Don't kill them, for God's sake,” the woman yelled. One of the three police yelled back at her. “If we have to kill every one of them, that is what we will do. They are infidels. They are spraying and killing people from the mosque.”

Later, residents of the apartment building debated among one another, often coming down with one side.

As they argued, one quietly asked: “Where is our humanity?”

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